Ben Scofield

me. still on a blog.

CodeMash Recap

[[posterous-content:EJwrquhHwuicvefDasuH]] So, after some difficulties getting the planes to fly on time, I finally made it home from CodeMash late last night. Despite only being there for a short time (and being intensely jealous of everyone who was able to stay for the full event), I had a great time. I did notice a couple of differences between CodeMash and the Ruby/open source conferences I normally attend, however. First, the gender balance was, while still skewed, was much closer than I’m used to. I remember hearing somewhere that there were more women in enterprise computing (.Net and Java) than in the more fringe technologies, and I guess I’ve got anecdotal evidence to back that up, now. Also, the sponsorship atmosphere was very different – in fact, it felt more like the Startup Crawl than it did the Expo Hall at RailsConf. Sponsor booths had video games, coding problems, and a ton of giveaways (both raffles and freebies), and their staff were a bit more assertive. My talk (an updated version of the one I gave at RubyConf) went over well, I think – no ratings on SpeakerRate yet, but (like all technical conferences) there were substantial problems with the wifi, so I’m hoping that people will rate it once they return home. I did fail in one significant way, however: I didn’t consider my audience as carefully as I should have. The needs of an audience of .Net, Java, and related technologists are somewhat different than those of a room full of Rubyists. I got a question on Neo4j’s licensing, for instance, that hasn’t come up in any of the half-dozen or more times I’ve talked about it previously. I don’t think that this problem affected the presentation itself, but it’s certainly something I should have done for the question period.